CEDAR CITY, Utah — Tyler Hall returned to form Thursday night and Montana State won a Big Sky Conference-opening game for the first time in four years.
Hall, the Big Sky's preseason MVP, scored 36 points on 12-of-19 shooting and made eight 3-pointers as the Bobcats held off Southern Utah, 104-99. Harald Frey added a career-high 30 points and six assists for MSU.
It marked the first time since 1971 that two Bobcats scored at least 30 points in the same game, according to the MSU sports information office. It was Hall’s 13th career 30-point game.
Hall had averaged just 11.2 points in his previous five contests while battling an ankle injury, foul trouble and shooting woes. In the Bobcats’ preseason finale, a loss at Omaha, Hall scored just six points on 2-of-19 shooting.
Against Southern Utah, Hall hit a key jumper with 2:51 left to keep MSU in the lead, 93-89. He later made a layup with 22 seconds remaining to keep the advantage at four points. Frey and Joe Mvuezolo each hit a pair of free throws in the waning seconds to ice the game.
Hall’s eight 3-pointers matched a career high he set during a game at Northern Arizona in 2016. Frey’s scoring total eclipsed his previous best — 29 earlier this season against Omaha.
Devonte Klines added 13 points for the Bobcats (8-6, 1-0 Big Sky), while Mvuezolo had 12. Southern Utah (6-6, 0-1) was led by Jadon Cohee’s 20 points.
Montana State will play at Northern Arizona on Saturday. The Lumberjacks are coming off an 87-69 home loss to Montana.